So what makes for a perfectly relaxing summer brunch? Our favourite people, a lavish spread of delectable dishes and some cold white wine in long-stem glasses. But do ice and wine go together? While the debate on this continues, here is a guide that can help settle it once and for all.
All the details to know about wines and ice in it
What ice does to wine
While a glass of the cold alcoholic drink seems refreshing on a hot summer day, adding ice to wine is believed to dilute its taste unless consumed very quickly.
Richard Vayda, director of wine studies at US’ Institute of Culinary Education also advises against doing so for the same reasons. He says, “Keep in mind that this [adding ice to wine] will dilute the colors, aromas, texture, and tastes, so I would not recommend ice in fine or complex wines that you would like to enjoy all the intensities, nuances, and flavors.”
Wines that prefer cooler temperatures
White wine ideally should be served cold at around 7 to 10 degrees Celsius to ensure the finest flavour. Unlike its red counterpart, you can serve white wine with some ice, without worrying about its flavour getting diluted.
This is especially true for smooth, dry white wines like chardonnay, which should be consumed at a temperature between 10 and 13 degrees Celsius, or nearly the same as a light red wine like Beaujolais or other Gamays.
Rosé pairs well with ice. Up to 7 degrees Celsius is suitable for the wine, as some of its flavours, like strawberries and fresh herbs, are not evident at temperatures lower than that. If you don’t want your rosé to be too cold, simply add two or three cubes of ice, stir well and remove them from the glass. While your wine won’t taste any different, it will stay cool a little longer.
Compared to rosé and white wine, this one should be served colder. Sparkling wine should be served at a temperature of 6 to 9 degrees Celsius. However, controlling the pressure for sparkling wines is crucial to prevent it from gushing out of the bottle when the cork is removed. Ice cubes can be used to serve sparkling wine, and doing so has no negative effects.
La piscine, which translates into ‘swimming pool’, is a French term used to describe the trend of adding ice cubes to sparkling wine. Even some vineyards have started to produce wines that are meant to be served with ice like Moet Ice Imperial Rose NV.
The perfect temperature to serve dessert wines is between 6 and 9 degrees Celsius, which is the perfect temperature. If you add ice to dessert wine, the flavour usually doesn’t get as diluted.
There is a type of dessert wine known as ice wine, it is prepared from grapes that have been frozen. Because of this, only countries with freezing temperatures, such as Canada and Germany, can produce this wine.
Because of their high alcohol content, fortified wines are a fantastic choice to be served with ice. However, you must be careful since fortified wines come in a variety of forms, and the serving temperature for each varies depending on how it was made. Hence, be sure to know which one you intend to serve.
Wines that don’t prefer cooler temperatures
Red wine is the type of wine that should not be served cold or with ice. It should be served at room temperature or an ideal temperature of 17 to 18 degrees Celsius. Adding ice cubes to red wine makes it lose its flavour and texture. Also, mixing ice cubes and red wine should be avoided, for it changes the chemical composition of wine by making it more acidic.
When it is OK to add ice to wine
1. Some prefer ice to dilute the wine, especially if they have a sensitive stomach or feel the wine is too strong. If you choose to use ice to flatten the alcoholic drink, be sure to discover the right ratio of wine and ice for your palate.
2. On an aircraft, anxious passengers frequently seek a glass of wine to relax. Air sickness can occasionally become worse because of turbulence since the wine makes your stomach feel heavy. To make the wine lighter, some ice can be added.
How to add ice to wine
There are two ways of adding ice to wine, and these depend on preferences.
Those who want a slightly diluted glass of wine can just add a few cubes of ice directly to the glass and slightly swirl the wine in it.
However, those who not only like a cold glass of wine but also want its flavour to remain intact can consider adding an ice cube to the glass; giving it a quick stir for 20 seconds; and removing it with a spoon. This will instantly cool your wine, and it will not water down the taste.
Also, it is advised to use ice directly from the refrigerator.
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Alternatives to ice cubes
Here are some excellent alternatives to ice cubes if you find yourself in a situation where you need to swiftly chill your wine.
Fruit ice or wine ice to cool the wine: Simply cut and freeze your favourite fruits that are compatible with the kind of wine you are going to consume or freeze the same wine to form ice cubes. Just drop a couple of fruit or wine ice cubes into your drink and enjoy.
Refrigerate the bottle of wine: Keeping the wine in a wine refrigerator is one of the best methods to ensure that it is always at the proper temperature and ready for serving.
Use an ice tub to keep your wine cold: For this, you need not buy ice tubs. All you need is just take a container big enough to fit the bottle along with ice. Fill it with ice and keep your wine bottle in that bucket to cool.
Wines to try with ice
Wines to try with ice
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Answer: No, you should not put ice cubes in red wines as they change their chemical composition, making them more acidic and difficult to digest.
Answer: There are various ways of serving chilled wine with ice. You can either directly add ice in a wine glass or you can add an ice cube, give it a quick stir for 20 seconds and remove it with a spoon.
Answer: Yes, you can put ice in white wine. However, it will just dilute the flavour of wine but won’t harm its chemical composition.